Mesquite Transformer Failure


RTI was contacted by representatives of Mesquite Power LLC to determine the most probable cause of the failure of a single-phase generator step-up (GSU) power transformer, in a bank of four, at their Arlington, AZ power plant. Based upon RTI’s investigation the failure was caused by a rapid expansion of gas in the high voltage turret which caused damage to the high voltage lead structure.

The Fundamentals of Forensic Investigation Guidebook


Electric power distribution systems are well integrated into the public domain of their service areas.  Accidents and equipment failures are not unexpected and may or may not involve non-utility property and/or personnel.  The need has been recognized to provide utilities with the resources to conduct an enhanced root cause analysis of incidents by implementing forensic engineering investigation procedures.  Utility personnel will be better prepared to respond to all distribution system incidents more effectively and to investigate them more thoroughly.  The results of the

Florida Power & Light Water Intake Failure


Two out of three offshore intake structures, called velocity caps, for a power plant cooling system, failed.  RTI performed an underwater examination; sampling and condition survey; removal, cleaning, and inspection of the damaged members; and instrumentation of the intake structure.  Included in the engineering analysis was a review of the construction method, structure design and fastener system, and an analysis of the wave loads.

Pair of Large Generator Failures

Turkey Point

There were catastrophic failures of two large generators, one at the Turkey Point Plant, and the other at the Martin Power Plant in Florida. Electrical breakdown and massive electrical arcs destroyed huge laminated iron stator cores, which had to be replaced at great and occasioned even greater expense from the replacement power costs.